Pride and prejudice: What influences Australians’ attitudes toward changing the date of Australia Day?

Eliza Mortimer-Royle, Steph Webb, Sarven McLinton, Yvonne L. Clark, Michael Watkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Australia Day, celebrated on January 26, is rooted in Australia's colonial history and causes pain for many of Australia's First Peoples. This study was the first to investigate predictors of Australians’ attitudes toward the date, while exploring whether intervention may improve attitudes toward a date-change. An Australian community sample (N = 559) were recruited through social media for an anonymous survey. Participants indicated their support for date-change, and responded to a variety of demographic (e.g., Age) and sociodemographic (e.g., Racism) questions, then being randomly allocated to an intervention statement, indicating their final attitudes post-intervention. Findings suggest sociodemographic factors were more important predictors than demographics, with Racism (b*** =.50), Traditionalism (b** =.18), Patriotism (b* =.13), and Age (b* =.10) significantly predicting participants’ date-change resistance. Racism demonstrated the most predictive strength, underscoring the importance of a date-change, with those open to change often identifying any alternative date should not offend First Peoples. In addition, intervention produced significant improvement in participants’ date-change attitudes, among those who were able to become more open to a date-change; however, differences were not present between intervention conditions. This illuminates the factors predicting Australians’ attitudes toward Australia Day, while demonstrating a potential path toward date-change through intervention.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnalyses of Social Issues and Public Policy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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